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Author Topic: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?  (Read 305553 times)

Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« on: July 16, 2010, 11:07:42 PM »

Bruce Thomas, a member of the forum since 2009-05-27 and author of at least 11 posts just realized today that he has a sextant that might be of interest to TIGHAR.

I'm not saying that Bruce is slow on the uptake.  Really, no, I'm not.  What I'm saying is that if any of the rest of y'all have a sextant around the house or if you see one or more in a museum, you might be able to add to our database.

These are the fields we would like to fill in, as much as possible:

|-
! Maker
! Maker No.
! Navy No.
! Inspection date
! Comments
! Bubble
! N.O. # on box

Of these fields, the two that are essential to add a sextant to our table are the Maker Number and the Naval Observatory number.  The sextant box found on Nikumaroro had two numbers on it: 3500 and 1542, which seem to fit the pattern of a Maker's Number (3500) and a Naval Observatory number (1542).  All the other information is icing on the cake.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 12:16:07 PM by Martin X. Moleski, SJ »
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Daniel Paul Cotts

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2010, 12:01:55 PM »

I don't know if this is any help - but is taken from an eBay listing. It's the collimation certificate for a sextant from the U.S. Naval Observatory dated Jan 1945. There are other pictures of the box.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?VISuperSize&item=170512363630
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Ted G Campbell

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2010, 06:49:40 PM »

Marty,
So what are the number he has?
Ted Campbell
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2010, 07:27:00 PM »

So what are the numbers he has?

I listed them in the Sextant article:

|-
|<!-- Maker --> Brandis?
|<!-- Maker No. -->  4313
|<!-- Navy No. -->  4665
|<!-- Inspection Date --> 
|<!-- Comments --> Bruce Thomas, TIGHAR to be.
|<!-- Bubble --> ??
|<!-- N.O. # on box --> No box. In display case.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2010, 07:46:27 PM »

I don't know if this is any help - but is taken from an eBay listing. It's the collimation certificate for a sextant from the U.S. Naval Observatory dated Jan 1945. There are other pictures of the box.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?VISuperSize&item=170512363630

Yes, that is very interesting.

Note that the sextant in the box does not match the N.O. certificate on the box--that happens a lot.

|-
|<!-- Maker --> Mergenthaler
|<!-- Maker No. --> 
|<!-- Navy No. -->  5223-44
|<!-- Inspection Date --> 1945-01-04
|<!-- Comments --> MK. I. Mod. 0
|<!-- Bubble --> No.
|<!-- N.O. # on box --> Note on box for 5878-44

|-
|<!-- Maker --> Mergenthaler
|<!-- Maker No. --> 
|<!-- Navy No. -->  5878-44
|<!-- Inspection Date -->
|<!-- Comments --> MK. I. Mod. 0
|<!-- Bubble --> No.
|<!-- N.O. # on box --> In box for 5223-44

Here is a better link.

LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Daniel Paul Cotts

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2010, 12:35:55 AM »

A Google search on "Brandis sextant" yielded some results.

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vintage-1938-us-navy-sextant-no-4267-brandis
Brandis 4765, U.S. Navy Sextant Brandis & Sons, Brooklyn N.Y. Navy no. 4267
sold on eBay

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/us-navy-sexton-brandis-sons-new-york
The original box is very nice with nicely dovetailed walls & brass hardware.
No numbers. Sold on eBay 08/18/2008
Seller Shawn at Cottonwood Village Antiques and Country Store 4300 Dawsonville Hwy Gainesville GA 30506

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/1921-us-navy-sextant-owned-by-enola-gay-admiral
Incomplete information. This is a 1921 United States Navy Sextant made by Brandis & Sons of Brooklyn , New York.  The sextant is marked US Navy #1146 on the bottom of the graduated scale. The case has the original Certificate of Inspection from August 27, 1921 for Brandis sextant number 1146.
Sold on eBay 12/11/2006

A possible expert ...
http://fer3.com/arc/m2.aspx?i=108211
Bill Morris
Pukenui
New Zealand

"The first sextant was a ladder framed one by Brandis and Son Inc. The "Inc"
places it after 1916 and its serial number places its manufacturing date
around the First World War."
Navigation List archive: www.fer3.com/arc
To post, email NavList---com

Book:
Sextants at Greenwich: a catalogue of the mariner's quadrants, mariner's ...
 By W.F.J. Mörzer Bruyns, Richard Dunn

Another book - just published.
http://sextantbook.com/inside-the-book/
See his article on rebuilding a Brandis aircraft sextant. Great photos.
http://sextantbook.com/category/aircraft-bubble-sextants/


http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1919PA.....27..359W
Brandis sextant 3257 noted as one of the instruments used to determine the longitude and latitude for observation of the eclipse of June 8, 1918.

http://www.liveauctioneers.com/h/item/7445914?ah=21-169a4&category=&itemtype=all
(lot of 2) American ships sextant, Brandis & Sons Inc.
Sold May 2010 at Auston Auction Gallery, Austin, Texas for $250 512-258-5479
Decent pictures of box. Fair pics of sextant.
Maybe someone can track down the buyer and ask for numbers.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2010, 12:56:11 AM by Daniel Paul Cotts »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2010, 08:30:23 AM »

A Google search on "Brandis sextant" yielded some results.

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vintage-1938-us-navy-sextant-no-4267-brandis
Brandis 4765, U.S. Navy Sextant Brandis & Sons, Brooklyn N.Y. Navy no. 4267
sold on eBay

That's a new one for the tables.

Quote
http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/us-navy-sexton-brandis-sons-new-york
The original box is very nice with nicely dovetailed walls & brass hardware.
No numbers. Sold on eBay 08/18/2008
Seller Shawn at Cottonwood Village Antiques and Country Store 4300 Dawsonville Hwy Gainesville GA 30506

Numbers are what we need.

Quote
http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/1921-us-navy-sextant-owned-by-enola-gay-admiral
Incomplete information. This is a 1921 United States Navy Sextant made by Brandis & Sons of Brooklyn , New York.  The sextant is marked US Navy #1146 on the bottom of the graduated scale. The case has the original Certificate of Inspection from August 27, 1921 for Brandis sextant number 1146.
Sold on eBay 12/11/2006

OK.  I've added that to the first table.

Quote
A possible expert ...
http://fer3.com/arc/m2.aspx?i=108211
Bill Morris
Pukenui
New Zealand

He wrote The Nautical Sextant.  I've written to him via the contact form on the website.

Quote
Book:
Sextants at Greenwich: a catalogue of the mariner's quadrants, mariner's ...
 By W.F.J. Mörzer Bruyns, Richard Dunn

Another book - just published.
http://sextantbook.com/inside-the-book/
See his article on rebuilding a Brandis aircraft sextant. Great photos.
http://sextantbook.com/category/aircraft-bubble-sextants/

We had a link to an earlier version of the rebuild photos. 

Quote
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1919PA.....27..359W
Brandis sextant 3257 noted as one of the instruments used to determine the longitude and latitude for observation of the eclipse of June 8, 1918.

We need pairs of numbers from the Naval Observatory.  That there were Brandis sextants not used by the Navy (or not marked by the Naval Observatory) is sort of irrelevant.

Quote
http://www.liveauctioneers.com/h/item/7445914?ah=21-169a4&category=&itemtype=all
(lot of 2) American ships sextant, Brandis & Sons Inc.
Sold May 2010 at Auston Auction Gallery, Austin, Texas for $250 512-258-5479
Decent pictures of box. Fair pics of sextant.
Maybe someone can track down the buyer and ask for numbers.

My own cost-benefit analysis says "not worth it."  What we really want is the mother-lode: the Naval Observatory's master list.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2010, 01:49:17 PM »

Quote
My own cost-benefit analysis says "not worth it."  What we really want is the mother-lode: the Naval Observatory's master list.
Marty, can you say whether the Naval Observatory has already been approached about that list or not?
LTM,

Bruce
TIGHAR #3123R
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2010, 02:34:48 PM »

Quote
My own cost-benefit analysis says "not worth it."  What we really want is the mother-lode: the Naval Observatory's master list.
Marty, can you say whether the Naval Observatory has already been approached about that list or not?

Here is the contact list (so far):
  • Dr. Archinal, formerly with the NO, now with the USGS regarding the historical instruments at the NO. Andrew McKenna wrote to him twice, but never got a reply.
  • Dr. Rafferty, mentioned in Archinal's work, said: "Contact Dr. Dick, former NO historian, now Chief Historian with NASA."
  • Dr. Panossian, mentioned in Archinal's work
  • Dr. Dick, former NO historian, now Chief Historian with NASA.  McKenna: "Dr. Dick wrote back that the instruments division was moved to the Norfolk Naval Yards in 1950 or so, and that I should contact Goeff Chester, the USNO Public Affairs Officer."
  • Carolyn Moore Mueller, Public Affairs Specialist/Editor, Norfolk Naval Shipyard; worked for Goeff Chester, US Naval Observatory Public Affairs Officer. Recommended looking at http://www.history.navy.mil/]Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) and at Norfolk Naval Shipyard Museum.

We haven't followed up on the two suggestions made in the last item on the list.  A TIGHAR member did have some contact with the NHCC in April, 2009, but missed being introduced to the curator. 

Let's not all call them all at once.  We have 288 people registered in the Forum and a variety of guests who visit anonymously.  But it would be splendid if we could get one person to take the lead on this and figure out whether the master list still exists somewhere.  Then we could see whether there is an entry for a sextant with maker number 3500 and Naval Observatory number 1542.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2010, 06:24:07 PM »

I've heard back from Bill Morris in New Zealand already (!).

He added two pairs of numbers to the list:

http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro

Brandis 4180,  N.O. 2895
Brandis 4144,  N.O. 4449    

He doesn't have a lead on the master list but invited me to post on NavList: A Discussion Group Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Position-Finding.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Joy Diane Forster

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2010, 09:52:21 AM »

There is a box on eBay which I think is a new number, but it is only the box.  The manufacturer is Mergenthaler, Navy # 5083-44, Collimation certificate date 3/27/1945.  No manufacturer number, though.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Navy-Sextant-Box-No-Reserve-/150469514501?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2308ae9505

There's another one that looks to be Navy # 1248, but I need help from someone who knows better what to look for.  Maybe the seller has the manufacturer information and the calibration date if asked:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-US-Navy-Sextant-Buff-Boston-Cased-/180536941644?cmd=ViewItem&pt=UK_Collectables_Militaria_LE&hash=item2a08d71c4c

Again, I think these might be new, but I may have missed something or misunderstood what was on the list.  But, putting it out there in case it helps.......
TIGHAR Member #4239
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2010, 06:47:39 PM »

Thanks, Joy.

I've salted those away.

The second one has the maker's number in the pictures and the N.O. number on the instrument itself.

It's a good pair.  I don't think we've seen a lot of Buff sextants in our survey.

Despite having to hold my laptop on my lap, I was able to update the sextant table.  Those were new pairs, as far as I could tell.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
« Last Edit: July 26, 2010, 07:25:57 PM by moleski »
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Daniel Paul Cotts

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2010, 09:47:16 PM »

There's a Brandis sextant on eBay item #350401896246. Numbers are 2734 and USN 362. Several pictures and a written description. Buy-it-Now for $675.
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2010, 11:08:59 PM »

There's a Brandis sextant on eBay item #350401896246. Numbers are 2734 and USN 362. Several pictures and a written description. Buy-it-Now for $675.

Thanks, Daniel.

That is a very interesting pair of numbers.

Here is a link to the e-bay page.  Lots of interesting photos to browse through.

A real low U.S. N.O. number (362); recalibrated and maybe reconstructed in 1965 (!).  Having the N.O. number die-punched on the instrument and on the box seems very different from other sextants and boxes that I've seen.

I've added it to the sextant page.

|-
|align="right"|<!-- Maker --> Brandis
|<!-- Maker No. -->  2734
|style="background:#C9E8FF;"|<!-- Navy No. -->  362
|<!-- Inspection Date --> 1943-04-18
|<!-- Comments --> ebay #350401896246; re-inspected 1965-11-12
|<!-- Bubble --> no
|<!-- N.O. # on box --> yes (die-punched)
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 06:06:10 AM by moleski »
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Daniel Paul Cotts

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2010, 08:20:08 PM »

There's another Brandis sextant on eBay - item# 250718198372
The only number seen in the photos is 916 stenciled on the box.
I'm hoping someone knows enough about sextants so that they can contact the seller and direct them where to look to find the numbers on the instrument. Location is Brooksville, FL.
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